Medical Coding Training — Difference Between Septicemia, SIRS and Sepsis

Medical Coding Training — Difference Between Septicemia, SIRS and Sepsis


Q: Compare Septicemia, SIRS and Sepsis. What
are the differences? A: Well, this gets very confusing. That little
[star] up there, this will work for a specialty CEU, I believe. The American College of Chest Physicians and
the Society of Critical Care Medicine have established 4 different levels of sepsis.
The levels and symptoms are as follows: 1. Systemic inflammatory response syndrome
(SIRS) – you’ve probably heard of SIRS before? And this gives you a list of things that a
person has SIRS, signs and symptoms that we have. You’ve got hypothermia (your temperature
is below 97°F) or a fever (a temperature above 100°F), tachycardia (heart rate more
than 100 beats per minute); tachypnea (rapid breath, more than 20 breaths per minute) or
hypocapnia (arterial CO2 less than 32 mmHg); and leukopenia or leukocytosis (white blood
count that is either too low or too high). There is no confirmed infectious process in
SIRS. 2. What happens when you go to the next level?
Well, you have sepsis. And sepsis is SIRS – everything that we just talked about before
– in response to a confirmed infectious process. They see the infection; they know
where it’s at. 3. Severe sepsis – what happens when it
graduates, I guess, you can call it – it includes the dysfunction of one or more organs.
You get hypotension, you get hypoperfusion, and it’s going to affect one or more organs. 4. It could turn into septic shock – sepsis
with persistent arterial hypotension or hypoperfusion despite adequate fluid resuscitation. Last, septicemia, which is a serious, life-threatening
infection that gets worse very quickly. It can arise from infections throughout the body,
including infections in the lungs, abdomen, and urinary tract. It may come before or at
the same time as the infection is found. What’s really scary is that older people sometimes
suffer that and they’ll get like a urinary tract infection and it just goes through the
body and their body starts shutting down organs. Here is osteomyelitis, which is an infection
of the bone. Central nervous system would be meningitis. You’ve heard stories about
somebody that got sick, next thing you know they’ll do a spinal tap, they got meningitis
and they’re gone very quickly. Endocarditis – infection of the heart muscles. And, other
tissues. Here is a picture of a person that has septicemia
and it had started in their legs and you can see there’s a wound there. There’s lots
of swelling, there’s a rash usually and it will go very quickly. Sepsis is a medical condition in which the
immune system goes into overdrive, releasing chemicals into the blood to combat an infection
(microbes in the blood, urine, lungs, skin, or other tissues) that trigger widespread
inflammation (cellular injury in the body tissues). If the body is not able to regulate
the immune response – which you can see this, this redness and swelling and like I
said, sometimes a rash – it then overwhelms normal blood processes so the blood is not
able to do its job. The first mention of the word sepsis in a medical context was more
than 2700 years ago in the poems of Homer – which I thought was really cool and I
would have loved to have went and looked, a time to go in and find that. The word derives from the Greek word sepein,
meaning “to rot” – and that’s exactly what happens. Sepsis occurs in 1% to 2% of
all the hospitalizations in the United States, affecting at least 750,000 persons and costing
$17 billion per year to treat. A term sometimes used for sepsis is “blood poisoning,”
but there is no poison involved in sepsis. This is the most – how would I say it – benign
picture that I can find, and my husband and children thinks that I’m very morbid and
like gory pictures; but just go in and Google image sepsis, amazing what you can find and
really sad conditions too for people on this stuff can happen, just like that.

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